A sheep born with six legs is recovering after vets worked together with a paediatrician to remove one of the extra limbs in a complex operation lasting more than two hours.
‘Dolly’ was born with the extra legs defect on a farm in the small Saxon town of Torgau in February.
Her owners, farmer Silke Mohles and her husband Bernd Tinter, say they found it impossible to integrate her into the herd.
The sheep has been looked after by keepers in an enclosure at the Animal Clinic of Leipzig University, Saxony State, since May.
Having observed how she is getting along and which of her legs are actually deployed to walk, vets at the institute then decided to operate on the most deformed one.
Dr Lilli Bittner-Schwerda said: “Dolly was always doing fine. That’s why we decided to take our time and watch her actions.”
The Leipzig Animal Clinic vet added: “We wanted to carefully plan the surgery. The aim was to determine which legs Dolly actually uses.”
The medics eventually agreed to remove the unused leg Dolly’s owners had previously tied to her body to keep it out of the way.
The operating team, which featured pediatric surgeon Prof Detlef Brock, took 145 minutes to do so.
Dr Bittner-Schwerda explained: “We initially considered removing two legs at once but eventually decided to take off just one.”
Dolly recovered well from the surgery which had been funded with donations, say local media.
The vets plan to remove the short deformed fifth leg in another surgery before discharging the animal to a special farm.
Vet Bittner-Schwerda said: “As soon as Dolly is free from pain, we will plaster her fifth leg and monitor its movement. The fifth foot shares a joint with another foot.”
Bittner-Schwerda, who revealed Dolly made friends with another sheep called Wilma in the meantime, explained: “We want to ensure Dolly has no difficulties getting along.”
When all the medical procedures are completed, Dolly’s owners Silke and Bernd want to send her to the Lebensmuht Farm, an animal sanctuary for disabled and traumatised livestock in Walbeck, Boerde District, Saxony-Anhalt State.
Reactions among netizens were mixed.
User ‘Catzilla225’ said: “What a f*cked up world are we living in?”
‘GinaZech’ argued: “At least they didn’t kill her instantly.”
But ‘KTM_vr’ claimed: “That happens when being overbred. I find it sad they didn’t put her down right after birth.”
‘QueenSandyTheFirst’ asked: “Maybe she had a twin sibling that didn’t develop properly?”
‘Emma.Magdalena.Elise’ just wanted to know: “Why are all sheep called Dolly?”
‘HabibiBlocksberg’ joked: “I struggle with two legs, fall over now and then.”
And ‘Piezi59’ only said: “I really hope she’s doing fine.”
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Story By: Thomas Hochwarter, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
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